As we enter the third month of quarantine, it’s beginning to feel r-e-a-l. I’ve tried to use this time to be productive, do things that make me feel useful, and work on my own health. I’ve been slowly forming some healthy habits (mental and physical) that I wanted to share with you all today.
This is obvious, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that my “outside time” has greatly depleted. With the weather warming up, I’ve been trying to spend more time outside. Whether it’s taking my work out on the porch, reading a book, or even taking my Nintendo Switch out to play Animal Crossing, I find that any activity I take with me outside greatly improves my experience. I feel lighter, happier, and healthier.
As a note, my friends and I have been enjoying spending safe time together during quarantine by taking our outings to the outdoors. Whether it’s a picnic, walking, or driving the parkway with the windows down, we’re able to get much-needed social interaction with the addition of Vitamin-D.
I’ll readily admit that I’m not a fan of working out. I hate sweating and, like most people, I’d much rather just sit in front of my TV and watch Netflix. However, it is more important than ever that we keep moving. With our lives becoming more stagnant than before quarantine, we need to at least maintain some form of movement to stay healthy and release some endorphins.
The key to working out for me is finding things I like to do. For me, those things have always been dancing and yoga. I was doing daily yoga practices, but that became monotonous after a while and I found myself slacking. To change it up, I’m now switching my daily workouts from dance cardio to yoga, every-other-day. The dance cardio is a little more intense, while the yoga is equally a workout and a great stretch. Sometimes it takes some serious personal motivation to get off my couch, but once I’m done with the workouts I feel amazing and less tight after a day of sitting.
In my June newsletter, I will be sharing links to some of the new dance cardio I’m doing, so make sure to subscribe here.
meditation and journaling
With the extra time cooped up in my house, I’ve had a lot of time to get mixed in with my own thoughts and anxieties. It’s important for me not just to focus on my physical health, but also my mental health, so I’ve tried to be more focused on meditation and journaling to keep me grounded.
By simply sitting down on my floor or out in the sun, closing my eyes, and taking deep breaths for a few minutes, I am able to re-focus on my day, my goals, and re-center myself in my own life. This really does help me feel more grounded in the growing chaos of our world.
Journaling allows me to voice on paper how I’m feeling and break it down to understand it better. It allows me to actually see why I’m feeling the way I am about something and, furthermore, it helps me to rationalize and understand my emotions, making everything a little less scary.
I’ll admit: I’m an emotional eater. With my anxiety being higher nowadays, I want more than anything to turn to junk food to make me happy, but I’ve been doing my best to stay away from overly processed foods and sweets. I’m not exactly following a strict diet, but I’m trying to eat foods that make me feel good and give me energy. I find, with my stationary lifestyle right now, the “junkier” the food is, the worse I feel.
Here are some of the substitutes I’ve been using to eat better when craving junk food:
Craving something salty: salted almonds, whole-wheat Goldfish, Skinny Girl lime-flavored popcorn
Craving something sweet: fresh grapes, baked apples with cinnamon and honey (thanks, Grandma!), unsweetened mint iced tea (made with mint from my garden, which naturally sweetens it)
Since quarantine began, I have not been sleeping well and, according to many of my friends, I’m not alone. I’ve tried many different things, but I’ve found a few things to help.
This might seem insane, but I’m allowing my natural circadian rhythm to dictate my sleep schedule. Since I’m working from home and setting my own hours, I’m able to do this. I usually go to bed around 3am and get up around 10-11am. For me, this is the best time for sleep. I find myself to be much more rested by doing this.
I’m sticking to a stricter nighttime routine. I shower an hour before going to bed, do my skincare, and read a book in bed. I do all of this slowly, methodically, allowing myself to fully relax.
Before I get in bed, I put some lavender essential oil in my diffuser, set the timer for an hour, and also use my Alexa to set a timed noise (I like “light rain” on the Alexa app, Sleep Sounds). If it’s raining outside, I’ll open my windows for the full effect. All of this combined has helped my sleeping, which allows me to feel better and healthier once I wake up.
I realize that working from home gives me a strong advantage in having the time and space to work on my health, but these five things can easily be adjusted to anyone’s working schedule, and with the weather warming up and quarantine slowly lifting, we all want to be feeling our best. I hope these were helpful tips for you, as they have been for me. If you have any tips, please share them in the comments below!
Until next time,
Image Courtesy of: Pexels